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WCO Regional Customs Laboratory Professionals Programme 2022/2023 is underway with a successful week at the WCO HQ

25 octubre 2022

The 2022/2023 WCO Regional Customs Laboratory Professionals Programme, made possible with the funding of Japan (CCF/Japan) and Korea (CCF/Korea), has held its first week of training, from 17th to 21st October 2022 at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels. Eleven experienced Customs chemists and classification officers from Egypt, Guatemala, Kosovo, Moldova, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, Viet Nam and Zambia came to Brussels to take part in this long-standing Programme.

The Programme provides a week of training at the WCO Headquarters followed by six weeks of practical training in a Regional Customs Laboratory.  This provides an opportunity for Customs chemists to expand and update their knowledge and skills in the chemical analysis of samples, as well as gaining greater knowledge in the relevant WCO tools, best practices and underpinning knowledge of classification requirements, with a view to supporting the establishment and modernization of Member’s Customs laboratories.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Konstantinos KAIOPOULOS, WCO Director of the Tariff and Trade Affairs, emphasized that the work of Customs laboratories in ensuring the correct identification of goods is crucial for Customs authorities.  In addition to their traditional role of analysing goods for the determination of tariff classification, Customs laboratories are playing an ever-increasing role in the protection of environment and society.  Their work is enabling better control of the trade in ozone depleting substances, pesticides, chemical weapons, narcotics and drug precursors etc. as well as enhancing consumer protection.  He concluded by wishing all participants a fruitful and successful completion of the Programme and encouraged them to share the experience and knowledge obtained during the Programme with their Administrations.

During the Programme, the participants made a courtesy visit to the WCO Secretary General, Dr Kunio Mikuriya, where he expressed his warm welcome and his expectation that they would enhance their knowledge and expertise and develop professional networks. He wished them every success in this important Programme.

During the one-week Workshop at the WCO, the participants examined the role and needs of Customs Laboratories, studied the HS and tariff classification, particularly in the field of chemical products, delved into the WCO Customs Laboratory Guide and other tools, and shared experiences and insights.  Following the Workshop at the WCO, the participants will be divided into two teams to take part in the hands-on component of the programme withsix week of training at the WCO Regional Customs Laboratory in either Japan or the Republic of Korea.  This will allow them to gain practical experience in chemical analysis, focusing on new technologies and techniques, as well as the use of sophisticated analytical equipment.